How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home

Italian pizza is celebrated worldwide for its thin, crispy crust, flavorful tomato sauce, and quality toppings. Recreating this beloved dish at home allows you to enjoy the authenticity and freshness of homemade pizza. This step-by-step guide will help you master the art of making Italian pizza in your own kitchen, from preparing the dough to baking it to perfection.

How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home
How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home

1. Ingredients for Italian Pizza Dough

To make authentic Italian pizza dough, you’ll need:

  • 500 grams (about 4 cups) of Italian tipo “00” flour: This finely ground flour is ideal for pizza dough, providing a light and airy crust.
  • 325 milliliters (about 1⅓ cups) of lukewarm water: Adjust as needed to achieve the right dough consistency.
  • 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough.
  • 5 grams (about 1½ teaspoons) of active dry yeast: Helps the dough rise and develop flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil: Adds richness and helps with dough elasticity.

2. Making the Pizza Dough

Step 1: Activate the Yeast

  • In a small bowl, mix the yeast with a portion of the lukewarm water and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until foamy.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the activated yeast mixture, remaining water, and olive oil.
  • Stir together with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you, fold it over, and repeat.

Step 4: First Rise

  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

3. Preparing Italian Pizza Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce:

  • 400 grams (14 ounces) of canned San Marzano tomatoes: Crushed or pureed for a smooth sauce.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced: Adds a subtle savory flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil: Enhances richness and mouthfeel.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: Balances flavors.

Making the Pizza Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.

4. Assembling and Baking the Pizza

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  • Place a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet in the oven and preheat to the highest temperature possible (typically around 500-550°F or 260-290°C) for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Shape the Dough

  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 2-3 equal portions for individual pizzas. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out each portion into a thin round shape.

Step 3: Add Toppings

  • Place the stretched dough rounds on parchment paper or a lightly floured pizza peel. Spoon a generous amount of tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a border around the edges.
  • Add your favorite toppings such as fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, or prosciutto.

Step 4: Bake the Pizza

  • Carefully slide the pizza (with parchment paper if using) onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and slightly charred in spots.

5. Serving Italian Pizza

Step 1: Rest and Slice

  • Let the baked pizza rest for a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing. This allows the toppings to set and makes slicing easier.

Step 2: Garnish and Enjoy

  • Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes for added flavor.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your homemade Italian pizza with a crisp crust and vibrant flavors straight from your kitchen.

Tips for Success

  • Temperature Control: A hot oven is crucial for achieving a crispy crust. Preheat your oven well in advance and use a pizza stone or baking sheet for even heat distribution.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality flour, tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh toppings to enhance the flavor and authenticity of your pizza.
  • Experiment: Feel free to experiment with different toppings and flavor combinations to create your own signature Italian pizzas.


By following these steps and tips, you can create authentic Italian pizzas at home that rival those from your favorite pizzeria. Embrace the art of pizza-making and enjoy sharing delicious homemade pizzas with family and friends, celebrating the rich culinary tradition of Italy one slice at a time.